MSA 2020 - Millay, Lowell, Teasdale, and the ‘Sentimental’ Modern Poet

deadline for submissions: 
March 13, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Modernist Studies Association
contact email: 

Call for Proposals

Millay, Lowell, Teasdale, and the ‘Sentimental’ Modern Poet


Modernist Studies Association

Brooklyn, NY

22-25 October 2020


Organized by Sarah Parker (Loughborough University) and Francisco E. Robles (University of Notre Dame)


How have three of the most famous and innovative poets of their day faded into obscurity, especially when compared to their former celebrity? This roundtable seeks to raise a series of provocations and questions about how poets such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Sara Teasdale, Edith Sitwell, and others have so often been relegated to the margins of literary history and university pedagogy, despite the efforts of recovery work in the 1990s-2000s. In addition, we ask what role resentment, celebrity, and gender play in the elaboration and institutionalization of Modernism, especially in higher-ed literature departments. What might Modernism look like if these three writers—or, indeed, any of the others we’ve listed here and below—were given a central role in its theorization and articulation?


Some poets and additional topics to consider:

—   Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Sara Teasdale, Angelina Weld Grimké, Edith Sitwell, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Alice Moore Dunbar Nelson, May Sarton, and Elinor Wylie

—   Media Studies and performance: Millay, Lowell, and poetry performed for recording and distribution over the last 100+ years (we especially invite contributions that link Millay or Lowell to midcentury and contemporary poetry performances)

—   Celebrity and Star Studies in relation to Modernist poetry and poetics

—   Modernism and the Environment: the environment in poetry by Millay, Lowell, Dunbar Nelson, Teasdale, and others

—   Boston Modernism (Amy Lowell, Dorothy West, May Sarton, etc.)

—   Maine writing (Sarah Orne Jewett and Edna St. Vincent Millay—is there a through-line between the two, especially in terms of ecopoetics?)

—   Queer women’s poetry in the 1910s and 1920s, by writers such as Millay, Lowell, Dunbar Nelson


Please email 200-word abstracts to and by 13 March 2020.